Nevada Regulator, PUC, Gets It Wrong, Big Time.
Nevada Regulator (PUC) eliminates “retail rate” net metering for new and existing customers. This is probably the most anti-solar regulation that we’ve seen so far. In New Mexico, current solar customers enjoy net metering, which means the solar generates electricity and then turns the meter backwards in an equal 1 to 1 rate exchange. A system sized offset to annual usage means the annual electricity used is around zero. Taking away net metering means that solar customers pay more for their electricity than the amount they get paid to generate it from their solar investment. In Nevada, the proposed change from 11.6 cents per kWh to 5.5 cents per kWh is a big hit. To make matters worse, the PUC approved additional fixed charges, a number the regulators left up to the utility to determine. According to Greentech Media, “Solar companies say the changes will lower net metering compensation to the point where rooftop solar no longer makes economic sense.” Indeed, this is a disaster for customers who entered into 30 year lease agreements. These customers will pay the solar company an agreed rate (which is less than their current monthly bill, but increases around 3% per year for 30 years) AND pay the utility company a solar access fee plus the difference between the retail rate and the new “wholesale” rate. In fact, the two leading national solar lease providers, Solar City and Vivint Solar, announced that they will leave the state if this measure passes, taking approximately 6,000 jobs with them.